Stocks Get a Second Wind

Shares end with solid gains, after an uncertain start.
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Updated from 4:05 p.m. EDT

The

Dow

posted a triple-digit gain Friday and the

Nasdaq

rose modestly, as investors snapped up stocks after a three-day selloff.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 137 points, or 1.5%, at 9188, while the Nasdaq was up 10 points, or 0.6%, at 1708. The

S&P 500

finished with a gain of 11 points, or 1.2%, at 993. On Thursday, the Nasdaq lost almost 3%, as jittery investors bailed following some disappointing earnings reports. Over the last three days, the Dow lost 126 points, while the Nasdaq shed 56.

For the week, the Dow ended up 68 points, or 0.8% but the S&P fell 5 points, or 0.5% and the Nasdaq lost 25 points, or 1.5%.

"To me this is just like what happened on June 18," noted Dave Briggs, head of stock trading at Federated Investors. Back then, he said, the S&P 500 hit a high of 1015 and the market sold off. "Then some people who missed out on the rally jumped in and bid the market back up."

Helping the Dow to rally Friday was a 4% jump in shares of

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

. The fast-food chain rose after Bear Stearns raised its rating on the stock, saying consensus earnings estimates are too low. The stock was up 90 cents, or 4.4%, to $21.39.

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

also added support, jumping 3%, or $2.07, to $65.61 after posting solid profits on Thursday.

Meanwhile,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

rose nicely after posting an 11% increase in fiscal fourth-quarter sales. The software giant posted earnings that were about a penny below expectations, but it added about a nickel to its 2004 per-share earnings guidance and about $1 billion to revenue guidance. The firm also said, however, that IT budgets remain tight. Shares ended up 20 cents, or 0.7%, to $26.89.

A much bigger gain was being felt in shares of

Ericsson

(ERICY)

, the cell-phone infrastructure giant that felt pressure Thursday after

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

lowered second-half guidance. Shares of the Swedish firm were up $1.77, or 16%, to $12.57 after the company maintained a goal of turning a profit this year via cost cuts and higher sales. The company lost about $330 million in the second quarter.

The news boosted Nokia, which was up 2.6%, and

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

, which was up 0.7%.

AOL Time Warner

(AOL)

agreed to sell its CD and DVD manufacturing operation to Canada's Cinram for $1.05 billion. The stock was up 2%, or 34 cents, to $16.74.

Shares of

Xilinx

(XLNX) - Get Report

were down 0.7%, or 18 cents, to $25.50. The firm posted in-line June quarter results that showed growth from last year's levels. But the company failed to deliver any additional upside and investors who had pushed the stock up 25% since the start of the year sold on the news.

Technology stocks have been on a tear since hitting a low in early March, partly on expectations for a strong recovery in the second half of the year. Even though some firms, like Microsoft, have raised their guidance, some investors worry that stocks have already priced in the news.

Outside of tech,

Ford

(F) - Get Report

was higher after the

Detroit Free Press

said the company is considering the elimination of up to 2,000 white-collar jobs in North America later this year. Shares were up 1.5%, or 16 cents, to $10.99.

Airline stocks ended a touch lower, with

Delta

(DAL) - Get Report

down 4% as several analysts cut their ratings and widened their loss estimates after the firm reported a big second quarter loss on Thursday.

Continental Airlines

(CA) - Get Report

gained, however, after Bear Stearns upgraded the stock saying the carrier can return to profitability due to further cost cuts.

In the bond market, Treasuries declined, with the yield on the 10-year note rising to 3.99%.

In economic news, the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 90.3 in July from 89.7 in June. Consumers are optimistic about current conditions, with that component of the index rising to 102.8 from 94.7 last month. Still, consumer expectations fell to 82.7 from 86.4 in June.

Overseas markets were higher, with London's FTSE 100 up 0.4% to 4073 and Germany's Xetra DAX up 1% to 3366. In Asia, the Nikkei ended up 0.3% at 9528, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4% to 10,141.